German firms’ mood little changed despite signs of green shoots

The Ifo business-climate index was unchanged in May, against expectations for an uptick, though firms did set out a more optimistic outlook for the months ahead.

Joshua Kirby (with inputs from The Wall Street Journal)
First Published27 May 2024
Companies surveyed expressed an unexpectedly dimmer view of current conditions. REUTERS
Companies surveyed expressed an unexpectedly dimmer view of current conditions. REUTERS

Sentiment among German businesses didn’t improve this month, according to a survey, though firms did set out a more optimistic outlook for the months ahead.

The Ifo business-climate index stayed steady at 89.3 in May, the same level as in April, data showed Monday. This defied expectations for an uptick in the survey, according to economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

Companies surveyed expressed an unexpectedly dimmer view of current conditions. But the gauge of expectations for the coming months ticked higher as firms across sectors proved more optimistic for the near future.

The static mood among German companies comes despite purchasing-managers’ surveys last week showing more dynamic activity across the country’s private sector. After a downturn last year, the German economy is set to book a second successive period of growth in the second quarter of 2024, the country’s central bank said last week, pointing to an upsurge in consumer confidence and recovery in energy-intensive industries.

Write to Joshua Kirby at joshua.kirby@wsj.com

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